Chuck Ross

Freelance Writer

Chuck Ross is a freelance writer and editor who has covered building and energy technologies for a range of industry publications and websites for more than 25 years. He specializes in building and energy technologies, along with electric-utility business issues.

Articles by Chuck Ross

August 2014
Last month, We began our exploration of how—and how much—today’s electrical contractors (ECs) are working, with Part 1 of our coverage of the 2014 Profile of the Electrical Contractor. We focused on the kind of work ECs are doing and the types of projects most important to their bottom lines. READ MORE
July 2014
So, tell us, how the heck are you? Oh, wait, we already asked 
you that while conducting our recent Profile of the Electrical Contractor research study. More than 2,700 of you responded, using snail mail and the Internet, 
and told us what it’s like to be an electrical contractor (EC) in this day and age. (Editor's note: To read part 2 of the Profile, click here.) READ MORE
July 2014
In January 2013, the Edison Electric Institute—the leading advocacy group of the investor-owned utility industry—released a report predicting “significant future disruption to the utility business model,” thanks to growing adoption of distributed generation resources. READ MORE
July 2014
While battery innovators have continued to tweak their products’ chemistries in search of the perfect, safe and affordable companion to rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels, a number of energy-storage entrepreneurs have made an end-run around this technology conundrum. Instead of seeking to supply a facility’s complete energy needs, their business models are based on sophisticated software. READ MORE
June 2014
The house of tomorrow is now 90 percent here, according to Michael Koenig. He leads a project that has added the remaining 10 percent of needed innovation to construct a prototype home that is actually net-positive in its energy use—i.e., it is anticipated to produce more energy than its own operations consume on an annual basis. READ MORE
May 2014
A lot can happen in 30 years. Infants grow into adults, state-of-the-art computers become museum pieces and long-lived electric-utility business models can disintegrate. With the price for solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and batteries dropping quickly, a Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) report suggests grid-supplied electricity soon could face competition from customers who decide to go it alone. READ MORE
  • Why lighting professionals matter

April 2014
Lighting upgrades have long been recognized as one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to cut a building’s energy use. Efficiency requirements are making some of these projects a necessity, as, for example, replacement T12 fluorescent lamps disappear from the market. READ MORE
April 2014
Followers of the renewable-energy market pay close attention to the sector’s three leading market research firms: Navigant Research, GTM Research and IHS. So, when all three firms release extremely bullish forecasts for a previously overlooked, niche component in photovoltaic (PV) panel installations within a five-month period, it raises eyebrows. READ MORE
March 2014
It’s a complicated time to be an electricity-generating company in the United States. Volatility in the natural gas market is forcing utility planners to rethink fueling options, and new emissions regulations are adding even more questions to their long-term forecasts. READ MORE